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Biden Announces Standards to Make Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Accessible

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
  • The Biden administration this week proposed new standards for its program to build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030.
  • Officials said the proposal will help establish the groundwork for states to build charging station projects that are accessible to all drivers regardless of the location, EV brand or charging company.
  • Earlier this year, the White House introduced a plan to allocate $5 billion to states to fund EV chargers during the next five years.

The Biden administration this week proposed new standards for its program to build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030, the latest move in its effort to accelerate the country's clean energy transition.

Biden officials said the proposal on minimum standards will help establish the groundwork for states to build charging station projects that are accessible to all drivers regardless of the location, EV brand or charging company.

Electrifying the transportation sector, one of the largest contributors to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, is critical to mitigating climate change. The administration has touted EVs as more affordable for Americans than gas-powered cars and has set a goal of 50% electric vehicle sales by 2030.

Earlier this year, the White House introduced a plan to allocate $5 billion to states to fund EV chargers during the next five years. The plan is part of the bipartisan infrastructure legislation, which includes $7.5 billion to build a national network of EV charging stations.

"Everyone deserves a chance to benefit from EVs," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said during a call with reporters on Wednesday.

"We're paying attention not only to the quantity of EV chargers but also their quality," Buttigieg said. "Everyone should be able to find a working charging station when and where they need it."

Officials said the standards will ensure a unified network of chargers with similar payment systems, pricing information and charging speeds. The rule mandates real time information on station pricing and location so drivers can better plan their trips. And stations would be required to have a minimum number and type of chargers.

"We're tackling range anxiety and vehicle charging deserts by making sure that charging stations are easily and equally accessible, allowing every American can get coast to coast in an electric vehicle," Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

The U.S. is the world's third-largest market for EVs behind China and Europe. EV drivers spend 60% less each year on fuel costs compared to drivers of gas-powered cars, according to a 2020 Consumer Reports study.

The White House has previously proposed an EV incentive package to allocate additional money for consumers who purchased EVs built by unionized workers. The administration has also pledged to transition its federal fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks to electric power by 2035. 

The proposed rule is expected to publish in the Federal Register next week.

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